Japanese horse Ambitious will run in Saturday's Group 1 Doomben Cup. Picture: Alice Laidlaw/Racing Photos/Getty Images
Japanese horse Ambitious will run in Saturday's Group 1 Doomben Cup. Picture: Alice Laidlaw/Racing Photos/Getty Images

Ambitious out to enhance Cox Plate credentials

CONNECTIONS anticipate Japanese raider Ambitious will justify their lofty Cox Plate plans when he runs in Saturday's $650,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup.

The Anthony Freedman-trained six-year-old stallion is the Doomben Cup favourite, with the race set to be his lone Brisbane run before he is set for Australia's weight-for-age championship in October.

"That's our ultimate goal," said Freedman's son Sam, who has been looking after his father's contingent in Brisbane.

"He'll stay up here for a month after this weekend's race before we head back to Melbourne and get ready for the Spring Carnival."

Freedman's confidence about Ambitous's chances on Saturday were bolstered with a rousing track gallop at Doomben on Tuesday morning.

"We've been here for about a month and he's settled in very well," he said.

"He's fit and well, and I liked the way he ran (on Tuesday). The firmer the track the better for him and we'll hopefully get that on Saturday.

"We've got a good affiliation with that race and we'd like that to continue."

Anthony and Lee Freedman trained $16 shot Our Ivanhowe to victory in the 2016 Doomben Cup, and Mawingo ($8) gave Anthony his first Group 1 win as a trainer in the 2012 running of the race.

Lee Freedman also won the race with Abstraction (1989), Durbridge (1994) and Bush Padre (2003).

Sam Freedman warned rivals not to judge Ambitious on his last-start eighth to Winx in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

"That's a forget run," he said. "He pulled up a bit sore afterwards but is now 100 per cent."

A better indication of Ambitious's quality was his second place behind Almandin two starts back in the Tancred Stakes.

There has never been any doubt about his quality when right. He boasts a win over Japanese super horse Kitasan Black in April 2016.

Ambitious will have a break after the Doomben Cup then prepare for the Cox Plate in the spring.
Ambitious will have a break after the Doomben Cup then prepare for the Cox Plate in the spring.

Freedman said the 2000m of the Doomben Cup was Ambitious's "ideal" distance.

In a "high-quality field", Freedman rated the Mick Price-trained Oregon's Day as Ambitious's main danger.

Ambitious isn't Anthony Freedman's only Japanese horse set to run at Doomben on Saturday, with four-year-old stallion A Shin Rook entered for a 1600m Class 6 Handicap.

A Shin Rook made a good impression when winning easily first-up at Caloundra late last month.

Freedman also has four-year-old gelding Mr Sneaky entered in the $125,000 BRC Sprint over 1350m as he attempts to get his Stradbroke Handicap mission back on track.

Craig Williams will again ride Ambitious on Saturday.

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